dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


I got crazy then called my special someone and felt much better. I was listening to music and making tapes for J and he whom we are about to visit: Antony and the Johnsons and Befriended by Innocence Mission.

It's so hot I can't drink enough water. We took two walks. My cousin is ill. I'm worried for him and we worried as we walked. I wrote a poem today called failure which is much more reliant on sound than usual. I prepared and sent a submission to Zyzzyva. Getting something together for Pleiades. God help me.

The gutters were clean today. Erik told me the trip is not so far, it's just going to another state that seems far. We went from here to Port Hueneme as a day trip not long ago. We have done crazier things on the half the sleep without a place to stay. So it's really nothing, actually, but it means so much.


We felt we needed to get the oil changed before our trip and went to Jiffy Lube yesterday when Erik came home from work. That place is my idea of hell. Their cheerful little scripts pain me. I get a very bad attitude. I hate the way they pretend to be mechanics. They give you an estimate. It's not an estimate!

At least they found a brake light that was out. I hate to give patrolmen an excuse to pull us over and search. Not that they ever have. Erik looks like such an upstanding citizen!

Then we came home, had dinner, and went to sleep. He was exhausted. I wasn't tired but fell asleep after a while anyway. We woke up at 9, confused about whether it was night or day, and got up. I wrote an emotional essay called laundry. I am or was nutty ie manic: anxious, irritable, verbal, and edgy. So then Erik read it and liked it. He comforted me through some anxious panic. Then we went to bed again around midnight. It was odd. Hot even though it was midnight.

Anyway, we'll get an appointment and go to our mechanic for an oil change next time. We won't be in a rush.

I'm lonely, feel neglected and bored, though our trip is soon, and I won't be bored then. I have "For Today I'm a Boy" stuck in my head.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Also last night we had lychee fruits for the first time. Their shells are red and have shallow spikes. The fruit inside is a clear white, slimy, like the inside of a grape, but also there's something rubbery about it, like a rice noodle.

I thought the taste was good, but there was a musty undertone that freaked me out a little, and I only had one.

Erik loved them and had many. I think the large, smooth seed inside is beautiful.


Last night the drill officially died. Erik had taken it apart so many times. Something deep inside it was wrong. A loose connection he couldn't reach. Why does this sound so profoundly metaphorical? I am only talking about the drill!!!!

So we went to OSH and bought a new one--how does that fit into my extended metaphor, smarty? It was on sale. It works wonderfully, or did once Erik conquored all the problems that made the holes crooked.

I've been binding those 120 copies of issue 36. And last night I was listening to strange They Might Be Giants songs on Dial A Song and looking at scary photos of a condemned mental hospital online. And ate eggplant dip on crackers.

This morning Erik had insomnia and woke me up early and got up to sit. Kitty cried for attention for a while then got over it. He left for work a bit late. The kettle water boiled while he was in the shower. I was trying to make his sandwiches, and he kept getting in my way. This kitchen's too small for the both of us. I put some egplantdip in his sandwiches, and I think he will be pleased. "I'm not pleased with you," I told him this morning. It was for waking me up. But I do feel sorry for him with insomnia worries.

"Can you think of something to be pleased with me for? Like drilling the holes for your zine?"

"Yes, I'm pleased with you for that," I said, half-sleeping. I just hate waking up.

Monday, May 29, 2006

what's going on with zines

Today we went to Staples where I copied 120 of issue 36. A few weeks ago I submitted issue 36 to a big, respected distro called Microcosm in Portland, and yesterday they told me they would like up to 200. I decided about 90 would be good, and we can drop them off next weekend when we're in Portland.

Also, another distro would like some of issue 36, Sweet Candy, and I'll send them 10, as well as some back issues for their library.

It feels flattering that these distros want my zine. Issue 36 is quality, if you ask me. So I feel validated and edified. This is very good news.

It was hard to spend the money to make another run of issue 36 just for Microcosm, but I think it's wonderful to get more copies out into the world, and hopefully some more subscriptions will come of it. I love Oregon, and I love that the zine will be read a little bit in the north. Also, Portland's on our list of where we might move next, and it's good to be in touch with Microcosm.

Issue 37 I've found two typos in, not really crucial or sensitive ones. It could be much worse.

Issue 38 is already half done. I'm writing like crazy. I think it might be my hormonal changes, but I'm not sure. I told Erik this morning how I was on hormones from the time I was 15 to the time I was 29. I have no idea what my "normal" looks like. Progestin had a big impact on how seratonin is used in the brain.

So things are going very well with zines, and I'm grateful to Erik for working hard at the grading factory so I can have so much time to do my projects. He is a very kind, giving, good husband.

Staples is depressing. I started going there when my brother gave me a gift card, which I'm deeply grateful for. They have a rewards program that's kept me hooked. But I made an issue at Krishna Copy in Berkeley (around issue 29?), which was fun and real. I'll try to find somewhere local that has a good price, owned by humans, to make the next issue.

a walk

Last night we went to vespers. We were a tiny bit late--oops! My voice got raspy from singing.

Afterwards, Erik said, "We should go for a walk here sometime." Vedanta has a big, gorgeous garden. We have spent a good deal of time there, and it's one of the reasons we moved to Sacramento. I was there once with my best friend too, when she came to visit, and we saw frogs and sat by one of the ponds talking for a long time.

Certain holidays are celebrated in the garden, rituals with some of the statues, and a year ago they put in a statue for the Virgin of Guadalupe, which I really appreciated and appreciate.

"How about this time?" I said. So we walked by the compost pile and saw the fire extinguisher in its cute little shelter. We met a cat with a very bad attitude that hissed at us when we tried to talk! We paid our respects to the big Krishna statue at Krishna pond, and I ate a lot of loquats from the loquat trees, so heavily laden with fruit, spitting the beautiful smooth seeds onto the earth.

Some mosquitoes bit us, but it's a wonderful place to walk, and the different shrines set up provide a natural rhythm to the set of experiences. It's hard to explain. But the paths are laid out nicely too. Everyone loves this garden. It's really something. We heard roosters crowing and dogs barking too from neighboring properties. It's a good jewel in the Carmichael crown.

These pictures are from their website.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

the Moroccan dinner

It was Friday night. Erik picked me up from work, and I was longing for something Middle Eastern. We thought Moroccan was close enough.

We felt we were entering another world. The lights were dim, and other-cultural music was playing. The tables were all coffee table height. The waiter was in an elaborate cultural costume. We sat at the couch-like seat. The walls are covered in carpets of ornate design. We were exhausted from a long week of sleep-deprivation and the strain of work.

We had a hard time ordering--they're not big on vegetarian items. We ordered some prawns and gave in and ordered some chicken for entre number two.

First we ate some lentil-tomato soup. It was salty and good, though I was concerned there might have been some lamb broth in there....

The waiter came with a pitcher of water to pour over our hands, small white towels for napkins, and a shiny basin to catch the water in as we washed. It was a nice little ritual.

Then was salad. He brought a big basket of bread and said we should take two pieces. The spicy eggplant salad was the best. The green beans were also good. The potato salad was herby and interesting. Everything seemed to have vinegar. Even the carrots were nice, and I don't usually like carrots cooked. And something like a very chunky fresh salsa only with cucumbers in addition. We really liked the salad. I would have enjoyed a meal consisting entirely of the salad in larger portions. The bread was fresh, heavy, and tasty.

Then was the showy star of the evening, the pastilla. The waiter explained how the moors brought this dish back to Morocco and how it was originally made with pigeons. Now it's chicken, eggs, peanuts, and almonds in a shell of filo dough with powdered sugar and cinnamon on top. "It's very hot, temperature hot," he warned us. "So don't burn your fingers." We had no silverware.

To say it was rich and delicious would be an understatement. I had never had such a combination of sweet with savory. I felt blessed and honored to eat this unusual food. Yet I don't like to eat chicken.

Then was the main course. The chicken's sauce was something special: honey, raisins, onions, nutmeg, something else? He said the onions had been boiled for five hours. The raisins seemed disintegrated, which is how I like my raisins, if at all. The chicken itself was unremarkable--not overdone really, but not melt-in-your-mouth either.

The prawns were in a strong, dark, garlicky, heavenly sauce that reminded me a little of Indian food.... The music reminded me of Indian music too. The prawns were intact, and the waiter brought a bowl for their shells.

The couscous was nice, very neutral-tasting. The veggies on top were unremarkable except for some very good squash that might have been pumpkin. The couscous had spoons stuck in it, and it was nice to have spoons. We ate it with the sauce from the meat dishes.

Then they came to wash our hands again, but this time, they also sprinkled them with rose water. A different waiter with less English came for this ritual, and it was confusing at first. He served us the dessert course, which was tiny (almost humorously tiny) pieces of baklawa and a sweet, spicy, awesome minty tea spiked with rosewater--just delicious, just perfect.

Our check was not hinted at. The guy seemed to act as if we had moved in. "Belly dancer will be here in five minutes," he told us. We stayed for a little of the dancing. The music was changed to something much louder and more vigorous. She danced very well, and flirted a little with a man at another table. I have mixed feelings about belly dancing in restaurants because I take everything so seriously and because of how it verges on sex work yet does not quite qualify, do you think? Very sexual but light-hearted. I will write about this other times and other places.

The meal was six courses, expensive, but well worth it. This would be a great place to take friends who are visiting as it's wonderful to just sit somewhere for hours and be presented with rich food and rich experience. Stimulating and relaxing at the same time. Marrakesh on Fulton.

watermelon preserves

Something we saw yestreday at the dollar store was watermelon preserves. The ingredients list was watermelon, sugar, and pectin. It was yellow. I had never seen such a thing. The label somehow communicated to me that it's mediterranian. We didn't buy any, but we did get some blackthorne jam, by the same company, and there's a picture that looks like a plum, but we haven't tried it yet.

We're not really jam people. I think most people have it on toast? We like tahini on our toast. And Erik likes peanut butter. On the rare occassion that I want the toast of my childhood, that would be just butter.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

the years

I sent all of issue 37. I'm so glad it was 63 cents as opposed to 87. And also surprised.

Listening to the history of Byzantium as Erik watches his course. Who knew Justinian was so important! And how his wife was super-smart. Who knew Africa would be easier to conquer than to rule! Ghoulish politics. A German queen being murdered in her bathtub. Divided nobility, the middle class in revolt because of taxes because of too many expensive wars.

Eating some nice blackberries from the dollar store, where we also got a lot of organic oatmeal, mild chiles, tomatoes, boxes upon boxes of favored crackers, and organic maple-flavored cookies. And lots of mailing tape, which I needed and was the reason we went.

He read to me for an hour. We love The Years but were shocked when ten years just got skipped. It's fun to talk about the characters and decide which we like, which we don't like, and discuss what everyone meant when they said this or that. Woolf's artfulness.

blown and windy

I have issue 37 mostly done, half in envelopes even, none sent. I was doing all that while Erik read to me The Years, which has tons of characters, but I think I'm following it. Some of my envelopes I made are just beautiful from a calendar of aerial shots of earth.

On our walk this morning we saw two condoms in the gutter, on our street, different sides of the street, and much discussion of how they got there. Yuck!

We're listening to Innocence Mission's Glow, Erik is washing dishes. I'm healing from my two days of work. He's healing from five. It's a threeday weekend for him, which is a miracle. I thought they were Easter-Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Years only. Happy to be wrong.

I got the most surprising letter two days ago from a friend L I had not had a letter from in a year, very glad, and it's a beautful, articulate, heart-rending letter about her experiences with the disaster that made her stop writing. I will write back soon. And I got some zines in the mail today, the latest from Dan M as well as Beautiful Mess from Sarala in Canada, a trade.

At work I wrote a long letter in tiny handwriting to my dear R who is so patient with my endless chatter, and I hope she can read it.

Last night we went to Moroccan food, and it was really something, a six-course meal, delicious. I don't have the energy to write about it, but I'm very grateful the world has given this experience to me. The weekend's budget is blown, which is fine, because we like the book we're reading so much.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


I had about a hundred little spam comments. I deleted them and activated the word verification.

Work today was fine and in fact got me out of my head a bit, which is always so useful: perspective.


Issue 37 is all copied, collated, and folded. A few are bound. I'm glad to have it done yet daunted at its length and a little stressed at how intimate it is. My depression lately and always manifests as nihilism. Very why bother. But I will go through the motions in hopes that I will feel better. And if not, I will stop zining, stop speaking, subscribe to cable, and start watching TV a lot. Just kidding about the TV part. But I feel the world is much nicer to people who do nothing as opposed to people who do something. I feel like one of those little hedgehog creatures in the game at Chuck E Cheese and to speak is to stick my head out and the world is full of clubs that will smack my head back into the hiding place of the brightly-painted wooden shelter. The world really doesn't want me to speak. Unless I say something heard 100 times already which is readily understood and consumed.

As you can see, I am very bitter about speaking right now, and I rememeber why for years I didn't. Winter is easier to hide in. Summer is so bothersomely sunshiny.

I am going to CSET today, and I have my semi-dress-up clothes on ie my shirt has no ragged, frayed holes in it. I always get functional when I get there. We had the window open all night and the cool outside air was beautiful. I need to get my things together, so goodbye.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Kitty woke us up at 6:30 and wanted to be petted so bad that he was rubbing his ears on my sleepy hand, so I forgave him. We all need love--can you really blame him?

It's warm and quiet here. Sad and subsisting. Wrote a letter to P. A bird flew, and then another bird flew that looked like its shadow. That will be all.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

happy end of project

SAT scoring is done! I have a day and a half to rest up before CSET.

Got in touch with another old friend I am so happy to know again. The internet is nothing short of awesome. He's my homie yet is now in the midwest, seems very well. He's recommending the Decemberists to me--never heard of them.

Last night cooked some asparagus for the first time. It's good, but I don't think I need it more than other veggies.

Also last night, the downstairs neighbor knocked on our door at 11 because our fan was very loud in her apartment. She was irrate. I felt and feel very bothered that she decided to bother us because a fan is a reasonable appliance to use--not like we were blaring music or something--and I hate apartment life. I think she's unreasonable, yet I know how frustrating it is when you can't sleep, so I have mixed feelings and mostly feel a bit trespassed against because I don't believe in knocking on someone's door at 11 unless someone's in grave danger.

Monday, May 22, 2006

a very good stanza from a very good poem

from A Few Words by R. Zamora Linmark

One popular interjection used by everyone,
from politicians to stand-up comics
to social-climbers to my aunt is “in fairness,”
as in: “This country might be the second
most corrupt in the world, but, in fairness,
we are number one in text messaging.”
It’s true. But, as my Filipino fatalist economist
friend once told me, “What this country needs
is a new country. But, in fairness, there
is no fairness.” When I came out to my
aunt, so as to finally put a stop to her round-
the-clock questions regarding my single
status, she matter-of-factly said, “Hijo,
your closet might be open, but, in fairness,
your skin is still fair.”

developments of happy Monday

Woke up at 5:30 needing to write, and didn't go back to bed this time. It's a short story that came from my dream. Do I really want to enter that world? I'll type it tonight and have Erik read it. I'm trying to be like Borges, if anything, which is some of the only short stories I like. I mean, the only short stories I like that I read in a book. Not very emotional, though (mine). At the end, I say, "Well, what was the point of that?" I have a good feel for the characters, which is a pleasure, but I'm not sure about the meaningness-level.

Rainy here, but it's supposed to stop before afternoon, which is a bummer. We had the window open all night to hear it. Somehow the dishes didn't get washed all weekend, so the kitchen's a mess. I accidentally bought tahini with the salt in already which I didn't even know existed, and it ruins my plans for this vision of a sandwich I wanted to have with some sliced up kalmata olives in it--ruined because it would be too salty. So I have to wait until the next tahini purchase and see the label more carefully this time.

I think the tulips closed up a little in the night. I'm sad Erik's going back to work and it's a new week. Now I have to think about going to mutant tree for CSET on Thursday. He just told me Google has Sherlock Homles on it today. We have a thing for him.

Oh, well I finished making issue 37 last night. It's the longest yet at 36 pages, and I had to cut a bunch too that will go in next issue. I'm really pleased with it. But I can't believe how expensive it will be to make. I see now why people charge. I got an email this morning from a distro wanting some of #35, which is nice, but I think I'm out, so I'll have to make another run, and I'm not sure I want to. Confused.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


extreme sleep

Yesterday we went to Trader Joe's and spent more than 90 dollars because we hadn't bought groceries in two weeks. Bread, eggs, lettuce, yogurt, this fennel toothpaste I have a thing for, flax oil, laundry soap, avocados, bananas, soymilk. The checker was excited we brought in a Staff of Life grocery bag because she lived in Santa Cruz four years and loves Staff of Life like we do. So we discussed the Sri Lankan restaurants of Santa Cruz, and she prefers Asian Rose. She was very nice.

I got these gorgeous pink tulips and white--something starting with an r. I looked for a picture flower dictionary online but couldn't find one. I will keep looking.

Supposed to be rainy here for a few days, which will be a welcome rest from the heat.... Free Indian concert tonight at Vedanta.

This morning I woke up needing to write at 6, we went back to bed at 7, and woke up again at 11. So my day feels funny already. Horrible dreams about killing and fascism--being herded into an auditorium and forced to watch propoganda about some Matrix-like virutal living that would save recources and was, for now, voluntary.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Today I put some molasses on my banana pancakes. It was really good.

I talked to my old friend J today for 37 minutes. He lives on a busy road that I thought was a rural road. In Michigan. I like talking with someone and letting their thoughts into my thoughts a little bit.

And then Erik and I went for a walk. I sent a bunch of Amnesty International letters. I'm getting ready to make issue 37 of the zine.

I want him to find me the coffee grinder which we use as a spice grinder so I can use it as a nut grinder and make some god-damn loaf.

Friday, May 19, 2006

the status of our dear P

I can tell how happy I was to get any given letter by how badly I mangle the envelope. We've heard from our dear P, and I'm so happy I could cry. All I needed to know is that he's well, he loves it there, and Sparky's alive. But I heard much more than that, and thank god for everything.

not spatially gifted

I got the can opener out of the drain. I just had to think a minute, figure out what must have happened to get it stuck, reach in to turn the handle to vertical, and voila.

Yesterday I scored a total of 21 minutes. I got a bad check set and said, "This is bullshit!" But I have to keep repeating to myself: I get paid the same whether I'm mad or happy. This isn't about honor--it's about the rent. I'm so idealistic, naturally.

letting it flush out to leave me well again

I looked at some Chicano art yesterday. I was looking for this certain painting I really loved from my Chicano art class when I was a kid. It was of some people in this old-fashioned car floating in space. If you know any painting that matches this description, let me know!

It's cloudy here, and I think it will rain, which is good. Maybe I'll take a walk. We're out of bread. Life without bread it more difficult than life with bread. We are also out of delicious tortillas. I should make some rice. But I can't wash the dishes because there's a can opener stuck in the drain, so I can't get the black rubber thingie that seals the drain in there, in order to fill the sink with soapy water. I was hoping to ask Erik to get his hand in there to somehow remove the can opener, but I keep forgetting to ask.

Last night we went to bed ridiculously early, but still slept to the alarm, but I remember vivid, realistic dreams.

"Run as fast as you can," Erik said. I knew they would catch us. I can't run very fast. The first guy aimed at us and pushed a button. I screamed, but it was only a camera. The second guy? When we were almost to the door, the whole group cut us off. The evil leader looked at Erik and said, "You're my friend. You always do what I want you to." They surrounded us and marched us back.

And a weird buffet where I kept asking if the raviolli was vegetarian, and my relatives were stealing almonds. It was so crowded, and I didn't want Erik and me to get separated, but we did. "Where is he?" I asked my mom. My aunt had a baby, but it didn't belong to her. And someone stole my shoes. I had to walk a long way.

Issue 37 is getting longer and longer. I have some aversion to actually saying, "Okay, it's done now," which I think I should respect. Let the months stretch on and on. Everyone likes longer but me.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I quit!!!!!!!

Last night I made some chicken-fried tofu. It was okay but bland. I needed to marinade the tofu, I think. Erik liked it. I ate mine with hoisin sauce.

And last night I trimmed my hair, which I had never done myself. Lately I haven't been using conditioner as an experiment in thrift, and the ends of my hair are really dry, so I snipped some, which I had never done myself, and I got a little hit off it, which gave me insight into the whole "I'm depressed so I'm cutting my hair" phenomenon.

I'm depressed. I was incapacitated this morning. I did some research through the tears and saw that progestin is a little more notorious than the other hormones for depressing someone.

So if anyone needs 2 1/2 months of Micronor, let me know. I'm going to Vegas to renew my vow against hormones (but without going to Vegas).

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

the great american blog entry

I finished that non-fiction story I was working on about my rooooommate second year. It happened like this. I was reading The Language of Baklava, and the dad in that book reminds me of that roommate's boyfriend in mannerism, so I got this feeling in me, this stirring, that I needed to talk about him.

So I grabbed a comp book that was near the bed and the crappy pen that happened to be sitting there and started writing furiously.... Which was nice, to write in bed, but then I had to type it all, which is so boring, but I edited a little while I typed.

Last night I had Erik read it, and he really liked it, but I don't know what to do with it, like should I try submitting it somewhere, and would others like to read this, or should I just throw it into the zine and forget about it. I write whatever I'm moved to, and I don't know what editors of literary journals are interested in, but I think they like The Great American Essay or The Great American Poem, which I never write--I never write something earth-shaking and definitive. Where was I talking about this the other day? I'm chipping away at the silence rather than producing the end-all and be-all, a different project. I'm not writing about Life, Death, and Man's Quest for Meaning, I mean. It's about a spider tattoo, an abortion, and when she lied about dropping a sock on the stairs. Well, maybe I should just distill it all into a poem and throw the prose idea out the window.

Last night I got very sad and Erik comforted me. Then I got happy right before bedtime, which is a bad habit, because we stay up giggling, and the sleep debt accumulates like interest.

Speaking of, we owed a collection agency more than three hundred dollars for this medical mess of a lying clinic refusing to pay something they said they would when they couldn't find a vein and sent me to a lab to get my blood drawn for this very expensive test--anyway, I'm finally paying it, which is so nice, and maybe our credit rating will go up now.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

authentic work

This morning I reconnected with an interesting friend from my past, very pleased because he's very different from most of my peeps, on the other side of some spectrums--spectra?, and I like different. And I did some other good social things.

SAT scoring is going fine. My stats were bad but looking better.

I'm learning how to manage the heat--when to close and open which windows to minimize the time that the air conditioner has to be on. I go into summer kicking and screaming--it takes a little while to learn how to be my summer-self.

Here is what I want to do: find a real job in the Bay, as close to Berkeley as possible, so we can move there. A real job would look like something with editing. But I can never remember whether editing has two t's, so maybe it should be something different?

Something with books. Something that pays, uh, you know, within the real-job-range. Ideally, I would be food writing or freelance writing or making a living as a poet--yeah right! Or teaching literature or poetry somewhere without grades or tests. But I can't freelance because I can't shmooze and sell myself and be constantly go-go-go.

But something else with books or writing would be good enough. Anywhere I'm not going to be yelled at, where I can either put my heart and soul into the work, or have enough freedom that it won't matter.

I'm going to keep thinking, talking, and praying about this until it happens. Or we change plans.

On our moving list, the Bay is number one--Portland's a distant number two, since it's so far from my family, but if we fall in love on our trip, that could change. Somewhere near Santa Maria like Carpenteria is a distant third, because Erik's not too excited about the area.

Monday, May 15, 2006

olive-eating prosers

I've been working on this long essay about my breasts. It's finally done now, I think. I finally had Erik read it tonight, and he really liked it, though it's emotional, and he's concerned about how vulnerable it is. Then we talked about it for a long time. I think I have the six sections arranged nicely--might switch II and III. It will be in issue 37 of the zine.

Today I started a something--non-fiction story?--about my second college roommate and her boyfriend. More dialogue is slowly creeping into my non-fictions, which is good. I still don't know how to tell a story. But maybe I can slowly find my own way. My friend C told me I should just do things my own way and not worry about it. I want to believe.

I made Erik some Marmite sandwiches for his lunch tomorrow. And he likes this pasta sauce with olives in it. I'm creeping him over to the dark side. I got an email from him today. I just about peed my pants with delight. Our computers can't talk to eachother, but we should be able to share files just fine emailing them.

I want to do a bunch of trades from the latest Zine World supplement (which reviewed Erik and Laura-Marie #26) PDF, but I don't have anything to trade, so I either need to make #37 soon or do a second run of #36, which is not a bad idea, since I think it was the best yet, but wouldn't you hope that each one was the best yet, so maybe I'll just wait and make extra of #37. Oops, too many numbers, sorry.

what happened?

I wrote a poem consisting almost entirely of spam subject lines. I always feel a little nervous when I write a poem whose speaker isn't me. A lot of people don't get that poetry can be non-autobiographical.


We found out that they won't let anyone score the SAT and the ACT at the same time. Oh well!

I was napping but kept getting interupted, so I gave up. Then I tried being awake, but I kept getting interupted too, so I went to get the mail....

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Erik got the router working! I am so glad, and I marvel at his skills.

He also found out that the company we score the SAT for is hiring for the ACT, and he emailed them about it. They say they're seeking scorers, but maybe a person can't score both, which is why they haven't invited us???

I chatted with my mom twice for Mother's Day. My brother came over, and my dad BBQed. He bought her a ring. My brother bought or made her a planter with four plants in it. And her youngest brother called.

The green garlic is lovely. We made white rice with butter, salt, and the green garlic chopped up. And then I cooked some brocolli and mixed in salt, pepper, basil, and sour cream. It was such a good lunch.

I drove myself to vespers. It was better-attended than usual. Almost didn't go because I was feeling clingy. Then my dinner kicked in, and I was well again.


My dad gave us a wireless router months ago that we could never get to work. Then our friend Scott told us we didn't need one and that using an ethernet card we could get one of the computers to act as a router.... Scott could do this, but not us, so that never worked out.

Today we went to Fry's again and got a new router and a cable, and Erik's been trying for hours, without success. It looked like my CD ROM drive pooped out, so he switched out the CD ROM drives, but even the functioning CD ROM drive isn't functioning in my computer. Basically, my computer is bad!!!!

Poor Erik is very frustrated. I need to make his dinner, shower, and go to vespers. I've been reading all day and am almost finished with Sociopath Next Door which is an awesome book of very important information that I want to give to everyone I know.

adventures in veggies

Buddha puja last night was good because I liked the verses Swami read, the worship procedure is comforting, and the prasad afterward was delicious. I didn't get to talk to any of my peeps, but Swami was nice afterwards when I was first in line to shake his hand or touch his shoes. It's the people who are initiated who touch his shoes, and maybe one day I will be like that too.

This morning we went to the big farmers market downtown and had a nice time though brief getting some brocolli, green garlic, green onions, and the main vegetable objective: asparagus, which my friend K gave me a tip for a good way to prepare it. While we were there, the price went from $2 to $1.50 a bunch, which was nice.

We never cooked with green garlic before, so I'm researching it right now. Looks like you treat it like you would a leek, and it's going to be milder than regular garlic.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Erik got some tea in the mail--white Silver Needle, which is his favorite, as well as some Jasmine Silver Needle, which is super-flowery. He only bought a little in case he gets sick of it--he had a sample before.

I have been reading and trying to stay nice despite the heat and life's frustrations. We went to the library, the postie, and bank. The only good thing about me today is my faith in the future.


my natural state

Friday, May 12, 2006

whole earth

This evening we drove to Davis to attend a portion of the Whole Earth Festival. It was fun though crowds freak me out. We ate some good tempeh pita sandwiches and delicious garlic fries and drank some lemonade.

Then we got lost looking for the correct stage and eventually found the reason we came, which was a little kirtan concert with fire dancers. There was too much talking, not enough chanting, but I kind of liked the part where they had us come within the roped-off dancing area and do a dance together. And I liked the Indian cookies at the end.

This festival is cool because there are solar panels set up to fuel the sound equipment, and all the food is served on real dishes to be washed by UC Davis cafeterias. There's different recycling and composting bins. They have the goal of being no-waste. I really like the idea.

I got dehydrated and am drinking a lot of water. I've been having some nice conversations online and networking with more zine-makers. Still looking for my dream-distro....


We got a puja for Buddha coming up Saturday, and we got a free concert coming up next weekend. So if you are in Sacramento, please come.


The Birthday of Lord Buddha will be celebrated with a special program of meditation, worship, and devotional songs on the evening of Saturday, May 13 at 7:30 pm. Prasad/Refreshment will be served in the Assembly Room. All are welcome to attend.

Pandit Nayan Ghosh, a well-known instrumental musician from Mumbai (Bombay, India) will present a sitar recital on Sunday May 21 at 7:30 pm in the auditorium of the Society. He will be accompanied by Arup Chattopadhyay on tabla (drum). All are welcome.

the only good thing about the heat

I hang the laundry, and it dries really fast.

Erik's home! It's one day only. He's doing a super-important international project at the grading factory which should be paying at least fifty bucks an hour considering the astronomical accuracy they're requiring, but is only the normal rate. He doesn't mind. It seems like the supervisor is good, so he'll get some respect until it ends in June. But anyway, he's off today because of a misjuedgment about the length of training, and I couldn't be happier.

SAT scoring is okay but whoever the range-finding comittee was for this prompt needs to lay off whatever drugs they were using and/or learn English!

I made some nice guacamole and made some good hummus that I put half a can of black beans in. I had always been a garbanzo-beans-only kind of person, but I have to say, the black beans was a good variation.

I read something the other day that made me wonder. It said that the way you think about the world colors how you see the world. And I tend to think about the world in a very pessimistic way. So maybe I should revise my ideas to revise my vision.

And Erik and I were talking about vision as we drove to Big Basin Wednesday. Is it good to have one? I said yes, as long as you can change it regularly, keep in touch with reality, and don't let your vision hurt anybody. Some things are so complex that they can only happen with vision. His Buddhism might contra-indicate vision? He's so into seeing things as they are, and I am too. But everybody's got to daydream and plan, just a little planning, maybe.

Somehow these two seem related.

And I was reading a cheezy magazine I got for free, which I usually just donate to the magaznie pile at the grading factory, but I was reading it because the cover tempted me with tofu recipes, and it was saying how most people find it hard to be happy for people as opposed to jealous, but I don't remember being too jealous except the time Erik got the fellowship and I didn't. That was the dark week of the soul.

At my yoga class my teacher has us do a loving kindness practice that has become integrated into my way of living that has to do with visualizing yourself as you are, a loved one, an enemy, and then the whole world and wishing loving kindness to each. Thanks, yoga teacher! You fixed something in my brain.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

finally us



more beautiful pictures by Erik




split-open bee exoskeleton

Santa Cruz pictures

banana slug


my hand holding the unseeable exoskeleton of a bee

Santa Cruz

Yesterday was our last day of freedom for a while, so we went to Santa Cruz. We had lunch at our favorite Sri Lankan place, went to the hippie grocery store, and then went to Big Basin. We took a walk and had a fire. It was healing and good to get out, though it's expensive with gas, and the drives are long. I wrote a letter to R. I read Figure 8 and some old Sea of Slime as well as the Santa Cruz weekly free papers before we burned them.

At one point I thought to myself, "In Santa Cruz, I'm normal," which was mostly about the liberalism, long hair, unshaven quality--but then I realized that isn't quite true because everyone seems a lot whiter than me. Like Santa Barbara but even whiter, and more beach-ish, more blonde streaks and sunglasses on the head. And the climate in general seems wealthier, not sure about that.

This morning when Erik was leaving for work we saw something Kitty left on the welcome mat for us: a dead bird. We thought he was too old for that kind of killing. There have been plenty of little mice over the years, but this is the first bird we've seen. I'm really not pleased with him, and I'm not pleased to have been wrong. Erik got a paper towel and threw it in the dumpster. Sorry, bird.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

the heat

I have read, written, and eaten some wonderful banana chips from Trader Joe's called Banana Crisps. The heat is making me stupid.

I start SAT scoring Thursday, and Erik goes back to the grading factory Thursday too to score something new that's paper and pencil as opposed to the usual scanned stuff on computer screen, which sounds better for the bod.

He's enjoying the course on Byzantium, and I would have to say from what I overhear that Romans were very violent.

It's time for cold showers, cold foods, and maybe time to move. Can I live through another Sacramento summer? Erik's reading want ads for me elsewhere. The idea is for me to get a real job and he can be the writer-in-residence and stay-at-home cat dad. We'll see what's in store.

Monday, May 08, 2006

too many questions

I finally got ahold of someone at the yoga farm where I went to that kirtan last week, and I had a list of questions. I am a curious person and like to know who I'm associating with. I asked away, and I freaked out the worker a bit. About question five she asked if I was a reporter and got hostile. I didn't think my questions were so odd, but maybe they've had bad experiences?

It's more a business than an ashram, it's been there 12 years, she told me the names of the person who runs it and the gray-white haired guy who led the kirtan, they're not affiliated with a larger organization, and beyond that, I would need to come in for a meditation class if I would like to know more! She tried to get me to agree to a particular meditation class, and I balked.

It all felt quite unpleasant. So I don't think I will return. Seems like these are some new-agers who are just doing their own thing for profit. Which is not bad in the scheme of things--worse things are done for profit! But since they have no credentials, and from what I felt about the gray-white haired dude, I don't plan to return. It's not a convenient location anyway.

We went to the co-op for water and to the library. Erik's excited about this course on Byzantium that he got the library to buy. Yay for him. I had to return The Language of Baklava for the second time. Someone or someones are having a hold war with me! It's the best book but slow-going--the library should have ordered more than one. So I will get on the list again.

Erik's chopping veggies for dinner. It's hot, and today might be the official First Day of Air Conditioning Day.

stock spams

I'm getting all these spams that make it through my spam filter about stocks I should buy, and they have the strangest subjects. One last night was "mortality," which you can bet I opened. One this morning was "may banshee biddy," and another was "instruct misstep."

I also get stuff that looks like this.

¢Ñ¢Ñ Á÷ÀåÀθ¸À»À§ÇÑ Æ¯º°¿ì´ë·Ð ¢Ð¢Ð

Which I assume is spam from an Asian country and the alphabet isn't displaying right, but who knows.

rice pudding experiment

I had been thinking about making rice pudding for quite a while. It's something I enjoy at Indian food resturants for dessert, if I have the buffet. Yet my enjoyment is mixed. Different restaurants make it differently, some adding tapioca, some adding little segments of pasta, some with more nuts than others. Some with raisins. I try to like raisins but don't.

I was scoring about food a week ago and read a few happy rice pudding essays. I read a really easy rice pudding recipe and thought, "I had no idea it was that easy."

Last night I tried a recipe of my own. I washed a cup of white rice, put it in a pot with two cups of vanilla soymilk (the shelf-stable kind from Trader Joe--pretty sweet). I added about four tablespoons of hippie sugar, a squirt of vanilla, and about three tablespoons of cashews.

I feel the cashews desrve their own paragraph as I entreat you to not buy cashews at the dollar store!!! These were grade Z. About half were shriveled nasties. Just accept that nuts are an investment and pay!

So I brought this to a boil and then put a lid on and lowered the heat to 3 on the electric stove.

When 20 minutes had passed, I turned off the heat, shook and opened a can of evaporated milk, and poured the whole thing in, stirring. And served.

I found this pudding not very sweet. Which is good on one hand. But on the other it tasted more like breakfast oatmeal than dessert, if you know what I mean. It tasted homey and comforting and definitely yummy, but just not the pudding I had envisioned. We put the pot in the fridge and went to bed.

The thing is that after eating it, I had a sweet taste in my mouth, as if I'd eaten something sweet, and was also thirsty. Do sweet foods make you thirsty? That happens to me. So I'm not sure if it was sweet or if it wasn't.

This morning, the rice had absorbed all the milk. Erik dished me a bowl. I added soymilk to make it wet, added the smallest shake of cinnamon, and ate it cold. Very good breakfast. I'm thinking what to do differently next time....

Considering a rice pudding with brown rice--what do you think? On one hand, it could be too nutty, but on the other, then I could leave out nuts! And thinking about spices. I specifically wanted to leave spices out of the pot so I could try different spices on individual servings. Nutmeg and allspice are next. But cinnamon I've read does good things for blood sugar, so I always want to try cinnamon first.

Other options are almond extract, and different sweetners, such as maple syrup. Molasses would probably be overpowering, though he suggested it. For Erik, I could use some sweetened condensed milk instead of the evaporated. Like the family saying goes, Everything is good with sweetened condensed milk.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


I was the kind of depressed where nothing seems worth doing. Lie in bed not moving depressed, for no known reason. Our options are

1. the heat
2. the new birth control pills
3. it's just time to be depressed.

He was going to go to Sacramento's Buddhist meditation group, which is where all different kinds of Buddhists meditate together and hear a little talk. Did you know there's losta different kinds of Buddhists? Erik's Soto Zen.

But he thought I needed company and came to vespers with me. The only thing that made me smile all day was the sounds of the chickens we saw on the way. We stopped in the middle of the road, I rolled the window down. We saw the white rooster first--he crowed--he's easy to see. Then some smaller colorful ones that made another sound.

Vespers I sang my heart out. After, Swami stopped in the hall and said, "Hello, Lorda-Marie" and asked how was my weekend away. I explained where Santa Maria is. He gave us cookies. I almost have the last song memorized.

Erik wanted to go to Whole Foods. I have veto power. We went for a walk in the heat. We lay naked in bed and drank water. I'm feeling better. We started reading out loud The Years by Virginia Woolf.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

two good things

Two things are making me happy. The first is some chamomile blooming in a pot of dirt on my balcony. Old seeds, did they just come in on the air? Did a neighbor want to surprise me? A gift from god? Anyway, I didn't plan them there!

The other is that I sent a zine to someone who's in jail for ecoterrorism and she wrote me a letter back! A real, interesting, articulate letter! And in it, she told me she read my poem "addict's mind" to the other women in her pod, and some of them said they liked it. So maybe I helped people. She said almost everyone's in there for drugs.

We're having a nice, warm day. We're eating rice with vegetables, which is good eats. All those veggies my mom bought me last weekend, lots of mushrooms.

at the kirtan and Gita class

There's a yoga place I went to once or twice last year called The Meditation Retreat Center and Lotus Garden Yoga Studio in Carmichael. They don't have a website! Last night I went there for their kirtan and Gita class for the first time.

I arrived at 7--Erik dropped me off. I didn't know where to go, but I peeked into a building that had a lot of shoes out front, and I saw a young Asian woman, who got me a glass of water and told me the kirtan was upstairs and people would be showing up soon. I was really nervous and looked out the window at three goats playing in their pen.

People started showing up, including a guy with gray-white hair, wearing all black, with a guitar, and he started playing. A tall young guy named Ty introduced himself to me with a handshake. A older Indian woman showed up with her little daughter, who brought toys to play with. More and more people came, about 20 total, but I wasn't familiar with the chants, and they didn't seem to be on the handout the young Asian woman gave me.

Everyone who came into the room bowed down, and they bowed down right before leavnig too, but the confusing thing is that they weren't all bowing down in the same direction. I think they bowed down to whatever painting they wanted to. All the paintings in the large room were of Krishna, I think.

I was in a corner, near the Indian woman, and could survey everything. Eventually we got to a chant that was on the handout, so I could chant along, which was nice. I noticed Ty reminded me of kids I knew as a teenager in Christian youth groups. Some were performing "getting into it" in a way that grates on me, cloying. While other people were matter-of-fact and seemed fine, like people I might like to know.

No one paid much attention to me, but the woman who runs the place introduced herself to me. "Is this your first time here?" she asked. She seemed really nice.

Suddenly the kirtan was over, and the Gita class started. The man wearing all black who had been leading the kirtan was now leading the class. We read a few verses, he preached about them a bit, then there was a question-and-answer period. I don't like him. He seems overly-confident and not trustworthy. I found myself wondering, "What are his credentials? Why should I be listening to him?" though he didn't say anything odd or objectionable. He told a story I had heard my Swami tell before.

I left in a good mood, feeling quite happy, and told Erik it was a good way to spend a Friday night among people, better than going to the movies or something. "Better than going to the mall," he suggested. Which of course I don't do, and Friday nights don't mean much to me, but I was thinking of the whole idea of being out.

I need to find out more about this place. They seem to be a Krishna-focused sect of Hinduism, but I would like to know how long they've been there, if they belong to a larger organization, who the gray-white haired dude is, how many people live there, what their views on gender and sex are, what their main texts are, and lots of stuff I would read on the website if only they had one!

Friday, May 05, 2006

not getting pregnant

Appointments mean little, at the women's health clinic. The difficult thing was the country music playing in waiting room #3. Seeing as country music is generally for white people, and nobody in there was white except one person, I wanted to orchestrate a vote, Who here would like the radio off? But I was too shy and kept reading.

I got a three month perscription for the progrestin-only birth control pill called Nora-BE which will not worsen my high blood pressure, is the idea. So we went to Longs to drop the perscription off, went to Kitty's vet to get his some flea medication, and then back to Longs to get the birth control. The worker asked, "Would you like to speak with the pharmacist about this medication?" and seemed surprised when I said yes. I am not scared to talk about birth control with strangers, and I wish all people would talk about birth control, in public and without hushing their voices, so it can lose its embarassingness.

I decided my time to take it every day would be high noon, so I'm not starting until tomorrow.

Erik missed training on Arizona during CBEST scoring, so it looks like he might be laid off the grading facotry for a while. He hopes it lasts until SAT scoring starts so he can rack up the hours at home at the higher rate of pay.

It's warm but not hot. We're close to using the air conditioner but not letting ourselves quite yet. I feel edgy and aggitated. Lots going on, and I'm behind on everything. I've been writing a letter to my friend Cathleen for more than a month. So far there are five installments. That's the perfect microcosm of how I've been feeling: a day late and a dollar short. But maybe I can really catch up this weekend.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

the reading

We found the place well, and parking was easy. I drank free wine and ate free cookies. Very nice. Small free bottles of Arrowhead water.

Jane Hirshfield has lots of interests in common with us--zen buddhist, she cooked at Greens for three years. She's friends with our ex-teacher's husband and mentioned he's the one who called her when Milosz died.

I liked three-fourths of three-fourths of the poems, which is very sucessful compared to many readings I've been to. Readings are hard, because I'm a visual learner. At one point I thought, "Oh yeah, I don't like readings! Why are we here?" But there is something to it, an event, getting out, especially when it's free and everything comes together so easily.

I don't like between-poem-chatter, but it does let the mind relax. And I don't like q-and-a at the end, though everyone else in the world seems to.

We both hated the introduction. As far as I'm concerned, long introductions are immoral. Every moment they speak is a moment taken away from the whole reason everyone is there.

She's a very smart person, and it's a pleasure to hear a very smart person talking. Here's a really brilliant one, I think the one she read second.

For What Binds Us
by Jane Hishfield

There are names for what binds us:
strong forces, weak forces.
Look around, you can see them:
the skin that forms in a half-empty cup,
nails rusting into the places they join,
joints dovetailed on their own weight.
The way things stay so solidly
wherever they've been set down --
and gravity, scientists say, is weak.

And see how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
more strong
than the simple, untested surface before.
There's a name for it on horses,
when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh,

as all flesh,
is proud of its wounds, wears them
as honors given out after battle,
small triumphs pinned to the chest --

And when two people have loved each other
see how it is like a
scar between their bodies,
stronger, darker, and proud;
how the black cord makes of them a single fabric
that nothing can tear or mend.

Bison bison

I found these old stamps from 1989 and some were dinos. Me and Erik played a game of which was my favorite then and what's my favorite now. I told him how stegosaurous is so great because it's like bison how they have the hump above their necks so predators that go for the neck, like mountain lions, get foiled.

Yesterday I thought about it and decided to take Plan B for the birth control mishap, after researching it and seeing nausea is the most common side-effect, and so I took the first pill at one in the afternoon, the second at one in the morning. And I'm totally fine. It's good knowing I decreased my chances of getting pregnant. I would suggest this to anyone. My women's health clinic gives our Plan B for free, no problem.

Tonight I'm going to that Jane Hershfield reading, and I have a very sore neck from sleeping too long, and my allergies are attacking me. Or more precisely, my immune system is attacking some pollen, and I'm the one who's suffering for it!

Erik is home again. I want to take a bath and a walk and get happy.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

low dose

Today Erik has the day off because there are no books loaded for Terra Nova. It's a wonderful treat to have him home. I have a week to heal before the May SAT scoring starts.

Tomorrow night there's a free reading by Jane Hirshfield that I was supposed to go to with my dear yoga teacher, but she might not be able to go. So I might go with my dear sweetie.

This morning we went to the co-op for water, yogurt, some corn tortillas that are so good that they're even delicious cold, some raspberry leaf tea, and some corn pasta just for fun. Which P was saying he always eats when he's backpacking, and he says something about great civilizations being built on corn....

Erik and I will not be building a great civilization any time soon, but we did have a birth control malfunction yesterday which has convinced me that I need to go on the pill. I give up. So it will be the low-dose, which is so particular that you have to take it at the exact same time every day. How's that for particular!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

what retired teachers are like

Today was the last day of CBEST. Yay!!!!! I was being driven crazy by that place, the inescapableness of its rhythms. And the rigidity of its white senior citizen culture. Kinda want to scream something inappropriate.

Retired teachers are pretty good as far as people go, but you know how old people can be so mired in their own reality and unwilling to consider anything but their old tricks. Of course, young people can be this way too. But, for example, I'm thinking of rigid ideas about ethnicity and gender. Very rigid, and how something outside of their everyday experience seems ridiculous. And how anyone who isn't white is tolerated loudly rather than accepted as a given. There's such a confidence in their own superiority that comes through always and makes me sick.

This all corresponds with problems Erik sees with the CBEST itself seeming to just weed out the ESL people. It's more of a "where were you born test" than anything. And no one there seems to see any problem or even... potential problem.

All scoring brings up moral issues for us, but we keep going back for more, as it's the only thing we can do and get more than ten dollars an hour.

Anyway, the retired teachers, they're always talking about their wonderful vacations to other countries, and I'm just jealous they're all so comfortable while we're so uncomfortable. In their professional, easy, educated, senior whiteness.

Yet the grim reaper reaps. And almost every session, there's a sad announcement. This time, the person who died was someone I very much liked, though I hadn't spoken with him, the man of a married couple, and I liked the woman of the couple and spoke with her in the bathroom. When they announced he had died, and it hit me who it was, I said, "Oh my god." Because they were such a cute couple, seemed so right together, and happy. He was the last person you would want to die.

Kitty has been extremely cranky since we came home from our weekend trip. He wants constant attention yet isn't pleased when he gets it. He howls and meowls.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Sunday: on the road again

Sunday morning I woke up before Erik and lay there doing my morning anxiety. Which sucks. But then we rushed to get ready, clean up, check out, and meet my parents at the place in Buellton they like breakfast.

We were early. Erik sat while I read the booklet for my new cell phone--they bought me a cell phone and put us on their plan, something they had talked about doing for more than a year. So yes, I have a cell phone now, though I had been so opposed, and I don't know if and how much I'll use it, or maybe it will live in the glove box of the car for emergencies. The rules of the plan are complicated and a little confusing, which I think is what Verizon wants?

Breakfast was nice, though the waitress was not. It's a very rural breakfast venue, and some cowboys were there. Our biscuits were lovely, and our omelettes were medium-good. The potatoes were not hot, barely warm, which I heartily disapprove of. I tried various tricks to make them yummy, such as chile sauce and then salsa, but none worked. But my dad liked his chicken fried steak, which is what's most important. He's very hard to please. And I think my mom liked her California omelette.

Then we went to Goleta so I could see my dearest best friend, the special someone. We talked in her room and then had Indian food for lunch in Santa Barbara. We talked and talked. I basked in her glow. I like her looks in her new glasses! I said, "I just want to warn you that I might respect you more now!" She's my best friend for every reason.

Then we drove back to Santa Maria, where I got to see my beautiful little nieces. The elder, who is 3, was affectionate and hyper. We played a lot. I sat her on my lap, carried her around, tickled. We played chase, I pushed her on the swingset swing. She wanted a lot of attention and to distract me from the younger as much as possible.

The younger is four and a half months old and so pretty. I lay with her on the livingroom floor. I held her and carried her around the living room, whispering to her how she is such a good girl, such a pretty baby, so special, and how I love her so much. I kissed her head over and over. I said to my mom, "She's still a baby!" I was worried I had missed the true baby time.

We all sat on the porch swing in the backyard, and I almost started crying when we were singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." It's moments like those that I think I really need to move to the area and spend all my Sundays that way, because what could be more real and true than helping raise such beautiful young people.

When we first arrived and the baby was in a good mood, I felt deep stirrings like, "I want one of those," but as the afternoon continued, and she got fussy, I realized I couldn't be a mother. And I've made the right choices in enjoying kids in niece-form as opposed to daughter- or son-form.

Then we drove home, and I fell asleep before it was even dark, waking up in Stockton, and then singing Innocence Mission loudly as we came to Sacramento. Good trip.

Saturday: on the road

Saturday we woke up early--we set the alarm for a quarter to 6--and Erik drove us the five and a half hours to Santa Maria.

I was starving when we arrived. My mom and I went to Oak Knolls to buy some BBQ. Some kids were running the sale, for a rodeo queen, and they were very cute. There were cute twin girls. We had a conversation about whether the beans had beef in them. They gave us extra bread and salad to compensate for my lack of beans. I couldn't believe how expensive BBQ is now, and I entreated my mom to buy us falafel at Charlie Burger instead, but she insisted the price was fine.

The afternoon was good. My mom and I went shopping. I looked for dresses and skirts, but we didn't find any. My criteria are very strict! Long, comfortable, natural fibers only, no beads, in my large size. So it's hard to find something good.

We went to Costco too, and she bought me all the foods I wanted, like lots of mushrooms and sourdough bread, onions, bananas, tomatoes, oranges, peanut butter. We looked at the books and didn't buy any.

So Erik was home with my dad, which was fine. Erik lay on the couch a lot. They have TV on all the time. We saw lots of food shows. My mom and I went for a long walk at dusk. She made us turkey burgers for dinner, which were so good. I sliced the tomatoes, onion, and pickle.

Then at 9, Erik and I drove to the hotel, the Marriott in Buellton, which is called the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott or something like that to please the wine tasters. It's quite a fancy place--beautiful white candles burning in the lobby, free apples, upscale furnishings. Our bed was the softest and most luxrious bed I've ever slept in, so big that I lost Erik sometimes during the night. It had seven pillows, if you can believe that, and three chocolates.

It's a beautiful place, and fun to play at being rich for a little while, and too bad we were just there to sleep as opposed to hanging out and really enjoying it. I would have liked to have written, in the little livingroom-area of the hotel room. Erik would have liked to have played racquetball.

the first

Happy May Day! I hope all the workers can get all their rights. I remember when I was little we would put flowers on the neighbors' porches and then ding-dong-ditch them for May Day, which was confusing and wonderful.

I set comments back to moderated but will not let them stack up for a month like last time.